Several years ago, Ann and I went to hear Harry Connick Jr. at the Ryman (one of at least a couple of times we’ve seen him perform). At some point during the concert, he played every instrument in the band. Proficiently. As we walked back to the car, I pondered the existential question, “Who would I rather be: Harry Connick Jr. or Pete Sampras?”
Sampras was Number 1 in the world at the time and winning his umpteenth Wimbledon in a row. His classic tennis style and knowledge and respect of the game have always impressed me as an homage to the heritage of tennis. That, and the fact that my own game was (and is) so pathetic, I thought it would be nice to experience what it was like to play the game perfectly.
Harry Connick Jr. is a rare phenomenon: A truly gifted and trained musician, entertainer and actor who has popular appeal. He seems to love what he does. Ann and I, in perhaps our greatest “brush with greatness,” were at the same resort where he and his wife, Jill Goodacre, were spending their honeymoon. It was off-season at the resort so there were very few people there to gawk at them (which, for a movie star-musician and a Victoria Secret model must be rare). Granted, this was their honeymoon, but he seemed to be the same person there that you see on stage: witty, friendly, courteous with the staff. Ann, of course, noted every kind gesture he displayed to his wife. I, of course, noted his wife (but that’s another story).
On that concert night, Harry won the tie-breaker and got my envy award.
This morning, the New York Times reports on a new patent Harry Connick Jr. received recently, reminding me once more of my envy.
Oh, yeah, and that too.